C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Man tries to rob neighbour’s house, arrested
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The police today arrested a man who allegedly gained access into his neighbour’s house to commit robbery, gagged his eight-year-old son at gunpoint and assaulted his wife.

He was later booked under various Sections of the IPC.

The incident occurred at a locality in Sector 51 here around 3 pm. The mother-son duo raised an alarm, following which the accused ran away from the place and hid himself in his house.

The police, which was informed about the incident, found the accused hiding in a box of a bed during a search operation, which lasted about an hour.

The accused has been identified as 32-year-old Jatinder Pal Singh. His neighbours told the police that he was a drug addict. The police also found stickers of press and permission to carry black film and a red beacon from his car.

Investigating officer Inspector Dilsher Singh said they would verify the allegations and had registered a case under Sections 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death, 323 ( for causing hurt), 342 (for wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Narrating the incident, the Oshin (8) told TNS that he came from school in the afternoon. After a while, someone knocked at the door, saying he had a letter for his parents to deliver. He opened the door and the man entered the house. After this, the man pulled out a pistol and laid him on the floor. He was wearing a monkey cap to mask his face.

“He gagged me with tape and tied my hands, threatening to kill me if I raised my voice. He started searching the house and almirahs. After sometime, my mom came and he hid himself behind the door. The moment she entered, he attacked her and a scuffle took place between them,” said Oshin.

It was during the struggle that his mother Sabina, an agent in an insurance company, broke her tooth. However, she managed to pull the mask and identified the assailant as Jatinder Pal Singh, who used to come to meet the family. Sabina said she raised an alarm, and realising that he had been identified, Jatinder scaled the boundary wall in the backyard of the house and fled.

Hearing her cries, neighbours gathered there and informed the police. Dilsher Singh said he immediately went to Jatinder Pal’s house and found it locked from inside. “I took representatives of the locality with me and we started beating the doors. After some time, Jatinder’s wife opened the door and we searched the house, but could not find him anywhere. In the end, we checked the boxes of the bed and found the accused lying beneath the mattresses.” 



Teachers’ selection: Admn in damage-control mode
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Despite the UT administration’s attempt to allay misgivings over the controversial recruitment of schoolteachers, the education department is now flooded with complaints not only alleging the process to be dubious but also accusing some senior officials of taking bribes to favour candidates otherwise ineligible.

Following the uproar created over the dismissal of more than ten of the newly appointed teachers after they were “found” ineligible, the administration issued a public notice today aimed at clarifying its stand on the entire recruitment process, which is now under a cloud. Though the notice elaborated on measures taken to ensure transparency in the selection of teachers it failed to satisfy many candidates who claimed it to be a “cover up exercise”.

“If you go through most complaints they pertain to the confusion over the interview criteria. Neither in its public notice nor in response to any of the RTIs has the department clarified the bifurcation of marks in the interview, which has led to the confusion. I’ve been a teacher for past five years and, according to the stipulated criteria, I should have got 5 marks in the interview for experience but have scored an overall zero,” said one of the complainants.

“My son Ankush Mahajan, a gold medallist in fine arts, was employed by the UT administration as a contract teacher for the past six years before he being relieved in November 2009. He fared quite well in the written exam but wasn’t given any marks for his experience in the interview. I asked the department for the bifurcation of marks of the interviews under RTI but have got no reply so far. And disturbed by my complaints they offered to rehire him,” alleged DR Gupta.

There are many candidates who have submitted representations accusing department of not having taken cognizance of their apt certificates presented at time of interview.

Meanwhile, home secretary Ram Niwas has promised to “set everything right” within a week. “As stated in the today’s public notice there is nothing wrong with the selections. All people have been asked to give representations about their doubts within a week and those who think their certificates were not considered should submit them. Also, people who are accusing officials of taking bribes should submit affidavits in this regard. A thorough inquiry will be conducted and any official found guilty would be punished,” he said.

However, a senior official said, “There must be many people who might have not had the requisite documents at the time of the interviews but might manage to bring them now. We have our apprehensions in dealing with such cases.”



Recruitment process under cloud 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The Chandigarh administration and controversies seem to go hand in hand. Even as those surrounding the much-hyped ‘mega’ projects have still to die down, the administration has now become embroiled in yet another controversy - that over the process of recruitment of schoolteachers in the backdrop of alleged irregularities in their selection.

The accusations have - at least for the time being - put the administration on the backfoot, forcing it to issue a public notice to "put the record straight."

The recruitment process has virtually come under a cloud following the recent flurry of media reports about large-scale irregularities.

While a large number of candidates and certain organisations termed it "flawed," the administration asserted the entire process was "transparent and objective."

Things seem to have come full circle for the administration that has again blamed the current controversy on "vested interests trying to vitiate the entire process so that doubts are raised in the minds of the public and the selection process is stalled."

In the wake of a sustained media campaign against the debatable mega projects the administration had adopted the same ‘modus operandi’ and became pro-active in defending its stand on the projects through paid advertisements in newspapers.

At that time also the administration had accused "vested interests" of derailing the development process by launching a crusade against the projects, which later came under the Central Vigilance Commission’s scanner.

The CBI is now conducting a probe into two of the administration’s flagship projects - Film City and Amusement Park.

Saying there was no rethink on the recruitment process as it was "above board," a senior official remarked: “Approaching various investigative agencies, including the CVC, is the right of people in a democratic setup”.



Exam Anxiety
Maintain your cool, CBSE advises students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
With Board exams round the corner, students are not only geared up to give their best but are, at the same time, jittery.

Madhu Bahl, master trainer and counsellor, CBSE, says the first thing to do is to maintain one’s cool.

“Of course, a child has to go through his last-minute revisions, but it’s being cool and confident which matters the most. One of the major problems faced by kids is fear of having forgotten everything. This is not possible and even if you feel so, keep the summary of all chapters handy and the moment you read it, everything will be back. And yes, write and prepare rather than reading or cramming the sample papers or questions, ” she advises.

A vital advice for kids is to abstain from calling their classmates, enquiring about their preparation, as it will multiply the stress levels.

“A child is the best judge of his own preparation and should not go by the success ‘funda’ of anybody else and do what he feels good and confident with,” says Bahl.

Same guidelines stand for parents, who should abstain from comparisons and frequent questions about the status of preparation. The child should not be made to bury himself behind the books, but made to go in for a smart study with requisite recreation.

“It’s not the end of road but just the beginning. Do your best and leave the rest,” is what the CBSE is suggesting to every kid.

What to do

Toppers (aggregate 90% and above in pre-boards)

l Keep the first examination subject for the last two days of week and concentrate on others

l Attempt at least three sample papers from the question bank of your choice in nine hours with a break of almost half an hour between the three

l Assess your performance and shortlist the chapters or questions that you need to revisit

l Keep a day for language papers

Above average (80-90% with lapses in some subjects)

l Devote maximum days of week to subjects which bring your aggregate down

l Revise NCERT for these subjects followed by two sample papers in almost six hours

l Do three sample papers in minimum nine hours for other subjects

Average (70%- 80% aggregate)

l Go in for a thorough revision of the NCERT and solve all the exercise questions

l Give at least two days a week to your weak subjects

l Go in for the CBSE sample papers only

Below average (up to 70%)

l Exercise questions of the NCERT

l Seek teachers’ or counsellors’ help to shortlist important questions in all subjects

l Be thorough with these questions



Private Affiliated Colleges
PU set to enforce uniform fee structure
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Panjab University (PU) is set to enforce a uniform fee structure in all private affiliated colleges, both aided and unaided, from the next academic session.

Students in these colleges will now pay 10-20% more fee as per the recommendationS of a special committee, which held a meeting on January 29. The proposal has now been forwarded to the syndicate for approval and would be taken up this week.

The insistence of private colleges, particularly unaided ones, which are required to meet the increased pay scales of teachers, as directed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), had earlier compelled the university to form a committee in order to settle the issue.

In addition, the affiliated colleges would also be required to submit a statement of funds collected from students to the university by the end of June each year.

This would include the details of income and expenditure of the colleges.

“The colleges were compelled to pay new pay scales to the teachers, and for the unaided ones it became very tough to deal with the situation. Hence, for arts subjects, the fee has been increased by 5-7% and for sciences and self-financing course; there is a 7-10% increase. Although the committee made recommendations for 2009-2010, but at the last meeting it was decided that the same will be applicable for 2010-2011,” said Dr Iqbal Sandhu.

“The colleges that are affiliated to the PU are bound to abide by the rules and must follow a uniform fee structure,” said Dr Ronki Ram, a member of the committee.

Meanwhile, the admission and tuition fee, as prescribed by the UT administration, remains the same. The issue of the semester system in all postgraduate courses in colleges from the next academic session is also likely to come up at the next syndicate meeting.

Although for courses like MCom and MBA, the semester system is already being followed, the same is being considered for arts stream now. 

Increase in annual fee for 2010-2011

BBA (from Rs 18000 to Rs 25000)

B.Com (from Rs 18000 to Rs 22000)

B.Sc (from Rs 26975 to Rs 30000)

MSc (Bio-informatics) (from Rs 36275 to Rs 50000)

MSc (IT) (from Rs 36275 to Rs 40000)

M.Com (from Rs 23255 to Rs 25000)

For PG diploma courses (from Rs 14000 to Rs 18000)

For MA the annual fee remains the same (Rs 12000)


70 held for attacks on Indians in Australia
Naveen S Garewal

Tribune News service

Chandigarh, February 22
Racial attacks on Indian in Australia are a cause for concern for the Australian government and various efforts have been made to set deterrents, including bringing in exemplary punishment for those found guilty.

Australian High Commissioner to India Peter N Varghese, while assuring Indians about Australia’s seriousness in dealing with hate crime, disclosed that so far 70 arrests had been made for the attacks on Indians. “In one case a person found guilty has been sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment”.

The High Commissioner was addressing a press meet at the Chandigarh Press Club today. Coming out in no uncertain terms, the High Commissioner said: “The attacks on Indians or people of Indian origin are not only a concern for the Indian government, but the Australian government also has taken a very strong view”. As a follow-up, the Australian government has taken several legislative measures, including tightening its legal system to prevent hate crime.

“What has happened is unfortunate, but the Australian government is clear that it cannot allow anyone to do anything that harms the multicultural fabric of the country”.

He disclosed that several steps had been initiated to make rule of providing accreditation to institutions more stringent and to ensure that only genuine and bonafide students were granted student visas. Australia is also changing its skilled migrant programme, he said.

For the safety of Indian students, the Australian government has been strengthening its policing network, especially in areas that have a high concentration of Indians. Besides, a 24-hour hotline has been setup to ensure instant help to those in duress. A majority of the efforts are being focused in the Victoria and New South Wales areas as these areas have the largest number of Indian students and have seen a rapid increase in both Indian population as well as privately run institutions that attract Indian students.

Talking about Australia-India relations, the High Commissioner said Australia viewed India as the world’s third largest economy by the next 10-20 years.

Both nations had common interests in the region like security in the Indian Ocean, besides several areas of mutual interest. “In the past the relations between the two countries have been good, but these were underdeveloped. Both the nations now understand the importance of mutual cooperation and are working towards that”. 



Stress laid on agriculture research
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Peter Varghese, High Commissioner of Australia to India, called on Punjab Governor and UT administrator Shivraj V Patil here today at the Punjab Raj Bhavan and discussed subjects of mutual interest.

Patil said both India and Australia should focus on agriculture research and give importance to genetic research to develop seeds, which could sprout in drought conditions, and similarly other varieties that could grow in more water like conditions.

Another area of interest indicated was in the utilisation of resources from ocean. He said Punjab had achieved a major breakthrough in the agriculture sector and allied fields and the state was emerging as a progressive and vibrant investment destination.

The state government had evolved a responsive mechanism and coordinated various agri-related activities in coordination with the scientific community, he added.

Patil said Australia was producing diamonds, whereas Indians were good in cutting and polishing them.

Showing concern about terrorist activities, Punjab Governor emphasised on close exchange of information.

Patil also stressed on fusion technology for generating power. He said European countries had joined hand to develop this area of concern. He said: “These were highly sophisticated and technically complex areas in which one country cannot give good results, but by joining hands we could achieve our goals.”

Patil said Punjab and Chandigarh were fast moving ahead in different sectors and had evolved a responsive and accountable system by refining streamlining administrative functioning with online governance. 



Play on prejudices against women 
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 22
The annual production of the department of India Theatre titled “Trojan Women delineating the similar anguish of female disparity,” got off to a majestic start here at the Balwant Gargi Open Air Theatre. The play shows bares the plight of women in the male dominating society from the times immemorial.

It is based on an adaptation of Jean Paul from the original Euripides classic of 450 BC scripted in Hindi for its stage production by an NSD alumnus Supriya from Hyderabad.

The costumes by Neeru and Gunnit Kaur and sets designed by Muneesh Kumar deserve a special mention.

Structured against the backdrop of Trojan War, the play opens to an old ambiance after the Trojan War which leaves scores of soldiers dead and their mothers or wives being enslaved.

It also draws on Indian history or the epics of Ramayan and Mahabharata to reflect on contemporary reality of prejudices against women.

The director Kumaradas TN has relied on natural, realistic, and modern theatrical elements of mockery, shrills and the pristine pure Punjabi folk for the prologue and sublime music in the background with dominating strains of Bhairavi.

What really merits for the directorial elegance of Kumaradas, an NSD alumnus is keeping the curiosity of audience alive and adroit acting spells or craftsmanship of 32 artists.

Every actor left an impression. The other set of actors will take centrestage tomorrow.

The play will be repeated till February 25.



Workshop concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The three-day annual peri-operative and critical care trans esophageal echocardiography (TEE) workshop conducted by the department of anaesthesia and intensive care, PGI, in the Advanced Cardiac Centre concluded here yesterday.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr BK Sharma, former director, PGIMER, who emphasised on the need to disseminate the skill to perform trans-esophageal echocardiography even in peripheral centres.

The workshop was targeted for intensivists, cardiac anaesthesiologists and trainees in anaesthesia. The academic discussion on the last day dealt with various uses of this technique in ICU and liver transplantation. Dr Hector Villaraga from Mayo Clinic and Dr Balachunder from Harvard deliberated on the recent advances in TEE.

The course ended with an exam and evaluation to assess the skills gained from the workshop. The free paper session saw a tough competition where Dr Sujoy from PGIMER won the first prize. Dr Alka and Dr Swapnil won the second and third prize, respectively.



Narrow escape for 30 passengers 
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, February 22
A major tragedy was averted when an oil tanker rammed into a bus at the railway overbridge on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway here this afternoon.

More than 30 passengers had a narrow escaped as the bus they were travelling in almost fell over the overbridge.

Two persons were injured in the mishap. They were rushed to the Dera Bassi Civil Hospital for treatment. However, the mishap led to a traffic jam. The vehicular movement resumed after four hours.

The police said the incident took place around 2 pm when a CTU bus, on its way from Ambala to Chandigarh, reached on the overbridge. A car in front of the bus suddenly applied breaks and the driver of the bus also had to apply breaks. However, a speeding tanker coming from behind rammed into the bus. Due to the impact of the collision, the bus collided with the wall of the bridge.

The vehicles were removed with the help of a crane after an hour and the traffic was diverted to Mubarikpur village. 



‘Think positive to keep osteoarthritis at bay’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Thinking positive and keeping self-perpetuating negative thoughts controlled helps keep osteoarthritis at bay. Dr Harsimran Singh, consultant orthopedics and joint replacement, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said this while addressing gathering at a function of the Senior Citizens Welfare Organization, Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, here today.

He was delivering a brief talk on osteoarthritis, symptoms, ways to control it, dos and don’ts and the latest treatment. “As long as we keep dwelling on negative thoughts, it keeps escalating until we believe the worst. Using negative thoughts to cope with osteoarthritis pain can actually increase your risk of disability and pain. Instead, one should focus on adaptive therapies like distraction or calming statements,” said Singh.

Discussing the latest technology treatment available, he said that recent advances in treatment are minimally invasive surgical and computer navigated techniques. Computer navigated total knee surgery leaves no margin for error, which is always present in the conventional surgery technique. The computer-assisted knee surgery uses a computer software programme to calculate angles of knee, enabling surgeon to conduct surgery with greater accuracy and precision.

The doctors are now aiming at unaided walking (without any stick or walker) as early as three weeks after surgery and return to previous job in the next 3 or 4 weeks. He said that predominant causes of osteoarthritis are obesity, lack of exercise and family history of disease. The prevention of osteoarthritis should begin at a young age. A balanced, healthy diet, along with daily exercise is most efficient way of preventing osteoarthritis, he advised. Proper medical advice should be taken at the early stages of the disease. The progression of arthritis can be slowed down by certain cartilage supplements and physiotherapy, he added.

Meanwhile, a team from Fortis Hospital held free ortho camp for the members of the Senior Citizens Welfare Organisation at the community center, Duplex Houses, MHC, Mani Majra. 



Governing bodies to maintain community centres 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has decided to handover the maintenance and upkeep of the community centres in the city to the elected governing bodies of these centres on a trial basis for three months. The governing body will be headed by area councillors.

Earlier, various departments of the MC maintained the community centres of the city. This decision was taken in the arts, culture and sports committee meeting held here today under the chairmanship of nominated councillor Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri.

Sources said the MC authorities had been giving 75 per cent of the monthly earnings from the booking fee to the governing body of the community centres. But now, they will spend this amount for the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of the respective centres. Rest of the money will be deposited in the kitty of the corporation.

Sources said that at present five community centres in Sectors 19, 21, 35, 45 and Mani Majra Modern Complex have their elected governing bodies, which are getting their share from the booking fee.

Members of the committee decided that till May, these governing bodies would be responsible for the maintenance of infrastructure of the community centres like repair and whitewash of building, purchasing furniture, appointing watchman and keeping the surroundings green. After two months, the feedback about their performance will be tabled in the committee for deciding the future course of action.

If the feedback were satisfactory, the MC would moot think over the proposal of giving the responsibilities of the community centres to the governing bodies. The members also asked the officials to prepare a draft of increasing the charges of the community centres.

Sources said the MC House had approved the proposal in 2001 that the governing bodies of the community centres should be given 75 per cent of share from its earnings for minor repairs and day-to-day expenditure and the rest be managed by the authorities. The House had also decided then that the corporation would open an account of Rs 5,000 in the name of the governing body and their additional share would be deposited in it every month.

Officials stated that the authorities had recently renovated most of the community centres so the governing bodies do not have to spend much on their maintenance. These bodies will have sufficient funds to manage their day-to-day affairs and maintain greenery in the centres.

Meeting today

Mayor Anu Chatrath will hold a meeting with chairmen and vice-chairmen of all the sub-committees on Tuesday to discuss the development agendas of each committee, besides their grievances



Panel formed for Le Corbusier’s property
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The Chandigarh administration has constituted a high-level committee under the chairmanship of chief architect Sumit Kaur to submit a report on the status of Le Corbusier’s property in the city.

Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “Reacting to the ongoing controversy of Le Corbusier’s works being auctioned in the international market, we thought it would be prudent to first have a look at our treasures in the museums, galleries and other important venues before taking any steps. Like in one case, a website announced sale of a work by MN Sharma, an architect associated with the team of Corbusier. The artist has denied the report saying the original creation was at his residence.”

The committee will draw out details of the UT property, particularly those related to the original designers and related works during the emergence of the city.

In a related development, the Global Human Rights Council, in a representation to the Central Vigilance Commission, has sought a probe into the Paris auction where Le Corbusier’s sketches and carvings were put up for sale.

The letter to the commission has said: “Till today, no FIR has been registered regarding missing or theft of these articles. It is surprising that the national heritage is being smuggled to Paris in a planned manner.”



Road link to airport: Punjab seeks cost sharing 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 22
After getting Rs 230 crore from Haryana as its share towards the land acquisition cost for the international airport here, Punjab has sought cost sharing for the road that will ultimately link the airport with Panchkula.

The neighbouring state has been asked to bear 50 per cent of the land acquisition cost for the approx 11 km-long circular road that will link the airport with Sector 21, Panchkula. On behalf of Punjab, the Greater Mohali Area Development (GMADA) has been conducting meeting with its Haryana counterpart.

Sources said, so far, Haryana has not shown its willingness in sharing the cost. After paying Rs 230 crore as 50 per cent of the land acquisition cost for 300 acres of land for the airport, Haryana officials want to wait for the project to take wings before deciding on further decisions. With the land acquisition rates touching Rs 1.50 crore an acre, the road cost could run into crores.

The logic given by GMADA for the cost sharing was that with the coming up of the road from Chatt village (on the Zirakpur-Partial road) to Sector 21, Panchkula, Haryana would also stand to benefit as it would provide a free access to airport-bound traffic. The economic development in the area, spurred by the proposed aerotropolis or an airport city near the Delhi-Chandigarh National Highway 22, will further push the development pace.

Officials in GMADA disclose that once the international airport is in place, the airport hub will serve as a catalyst for aviation and logistic business in the region. Officials in the Punjab’s Town Planning wing said an aerotropolis was a city developed around an airport like Changi airport in Singapore and Beijing capital international airport in China, focused on aviation-related business.

In Mohali’s master plan submitted recently by the Singapore-based consultant, Jurong Ltd, the aeropolis project will provide an integrated multi modal transport hub apart from offering a residential area and generate employment. The corridor along the National Highway 22 will be developed as a major passenger and cargo hubs.

“If no positive signal comes from Haryana, we will keep the road project pending. The road up to the Zirakpur-Patiala highway is already being developed. Since a lot of commercial activity is already taking place along the national highway, coming up hotels and malls would add to the economic activity. GMADA wants to tap the potential of the area around Zirakpur”, the official said.



Dy CM to review development projects
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 22
Giving push to the future planning of the city and review the speed of projects in Mohali, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal will chair a meeting with senior officials of the Housing and Urban Development Board and GMADA.

A review of various projects would also be held. Though officials deny any communication about the proposed meeting, sources claimed all concerned departments were busy preparing report cards and planning for future.

Projects like major roads to airport, aerotropolis, mega projects and future planning of Mohali would be discussed.

Officials said after recent announcements made by Sukhbir Badal regarding development of Mohali, his proposed meeting was a point in this direction.



A treat for classical music lovers
SD Sharma

Panchkula, February 22
It was indeed rejuvenating for the classical music starving music lovers of Panchkula who were treated to a melodious spell of morning ragas by stalwart doyenne Shruti Sadolikar Katakar, Vice-Chancellor of Bhatkhande Music University, Lucknow.

After Anita Sharma welcomed and introduced the maestro, the music hall of Gandharav Mahavidyalya reverberated with mellifluous voice of Shruti, as she opened up with exposition of Raga Todi.

She rendered brief alaap flowed by compositions in vilambat and drut lya before delineating Raga Hindol Bahar and classical Tappa in tall Deepchandi.

Shruti drew pleasure from the rendition of a Surdas bhajan “Piyabin nagin kali raat” and a Kabir classic “Kaise din kate rein..”.

Earlier she enthralled the crowd at a special concert held at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Chandigarh, yesterday. She presented Raga Yaman and later captivated the audience with devotional compositions of saints like Kabir, Surdas, Meera in Hindi and in Marathi as well. Delhi-based Vinay Mishra and Dr Paramjit Singh gave matching accompaniment. Chief guest Jagmohan Lal Mahajan honoured the artistes and local maestro Vineeta Gupta conducted the programme.



‘Vimarsh’ begins today
Chhavi Garg

Chandigarh, February 22
Vimarsh-2010, an International Student Academic Convention, will be held in Panjab University by the Students’ Council tomorrow.

The theme of the convention is ‘Higher education in the era of globalisation: Students’ Perspective’. The students from all over India and abroad will be participating in paper presentation, poster making and case study. The theme has been divided into four parts i.e. changing profile of university students, modern approaches in higher education, motivation for higher education and privatisation in higher education.

Prof GK Chadha, CEO, South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation, SAARC University, New Delhi, will be inaugurating the convention. He is also the former Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University and member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.

A panel discussion will also be held. The panelists will be Prof RP Bambah, Department of Mathematics, Prof AK Saihjpal, University Institute of Applied Management Studies, Gaurav Chabbra, social activist, BS Brar, Ashok Chitkara, Dr Keya Dharamveer and Dr Nirmal Singh. The convention is being organised with the aim of providing students and experts a common platform for insightful debate and discussion.

“This is the first time that the students council is organising an academic convention and we have got a good response from the students. This is being organised to bring students from all over the world to share their views,” said Jiva, one of the organisers of the convention.The clarion call is for ‘change’ and for it to be effective and immediate the catalysts have to be the students.



UGC for limiting college principals’ term to 5 yrs
Neha Miglani

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Principals of all government as well as private colleges will now be appointed for a term of five years only. Additionally, a minimum 15 years’ teaching experience will be mandatory for a PhD candidate applying for the 
post instead of the earlier stipulation of ten years.

According to the newly proposed regulations posted on the UGC website, a principal’s term may be subsequently extended for a maximum of five years subject to permission being granted.

The UGC forwarded these proposals to the HRD ministry following a meeting held in New Delhi on January 19 despite an objection reportedly raised by the All India Council of Colleges.

“The UGC mooted the new norms as principals who are appointed at a young age of 40 hold the post till retirement for about 60 years while others in the queue, who are equally competent, don’t get a chance,” said Kuldeep Singh, a Panjab University fellow.

In addition to these changes, the UGC has also amended the pattern of 100 marks of a college teacher’s assessment and part of promotional avenues, which were earned through the refresher courses by teachers for the purpose of promotion. Now teachers will have to contest for 30 instead of 100 marks for the refresher course. The teachers will acquire the rest 70% marks by participating in extra academic activities like presenting research papers, etc.

The All India Federation of University & College Teachers has lodged a protest over this particular amendment.

Meanwhile, a decision by the UGC is awaited on the issue of those teachers who had an MPhil but not a PhD degree or were not UGC NET qualified and had already been appointed as lecturers in colleges before the UGC’s amended rules came into effect in July 2009. 



MCM Job fest kicks off
Nidhi Bhatia

Chandigarh, February22
The MCM DAV College for Women organised its annual job fest today. For the first time, doors have been opened for outsiders as well. Girls of all age groups and boys who possess Panjab University identity cards have been allowed to make use of the opportunity.

“This is an effort to bridge the gap between the employers and the potential employees. Opening the gates for outsiders will let us know what additional efforts are needed to groom the girls better,” Puneet Bedi, principal, MCM College, said.

This time as many as 30 companies have come to recruit young talents. There has been a big leap from last year, this time the companies from varied sectors like hospitability, content writing and counselling have been roped in to hire students rather than just BPOs.

“I have been selected by two companies. I just wanted to get some experience of how job interviews are held. I want to go in for a Masters degree. Today you are nothing in the job market if you are just a graduate. These jobs are good if someone is thinking of a short-term career but not for those who are career oriented,” said Itika, III rd year student.

“I have done a course in cabin crew and had heard that companies are coming in for this sector as well. But I see no such thing happening here. So I am going back,” said a girl, unwilling to disclose her identity.

There are also some excited students who who want to get into jobs straight away. Loveleen and Guncha, both III rd year students, said, “We’ll surely take up jobs if we get selected. The end purpose of education is to land into a good job. So we’ll surely use the opportunity.”

There was also good news for those who wanted to study abroad. Kinetic Potential Explorers in association with Idea, USA, were giving scholarships up to 50 per cent and more.



PU Notes
Lecture on values for sustainable peace 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The Institute of Educational Technology and Vocational Education, Panjab University, is organising a lecture on “Values for sustainable peace” tomorrow. The lecture will be delivered by Supreme Court Advocate Ashok Arora in the library of the department, which is situated on the premises of old DCS building near the SBI, Sector 14, according to Prof Raj K Gupta, chief coordinator, Institute of Educational Technology and Vocational Education.

International conference

Panjab University will collaborate with Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi and MELOW, a society for the study of multi-ethnic literatures of the world, to hold an international conference on “Contemporary issues: Literature and culture since” from February 25 to 27. The conference will merge into the first Chandigarh “LitFest” for which there will be several well-known literary figures visiting Chandigarh. The event has been announced over the Internet and expected participation from Chandigarh, India and abroad will be around 250 delegates.

The three-day event will be inaugurated on February 25 by Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University. The special guest will be Pradip Mehra, Adviser to the Administrator, UT, Chandigarh. There will be a special Isaac Sequeira memorial lecture delivered by Prof PC Kar on February 27. The Isaac Sequeira Memorial Award for the best paper presented at the last Shantiniketan conference will be given to Dr Dipankar Roy.


A two-day UGC sponsored seminar “Assertion of regions: Exploring the demand for new states” organised by the department of political science, Panjab University, began at the ICSSR Complex today. Prof Zoya Hasan, Jawaharlal Nehru University, delivered the keynote address.

Dr Ronki Ram, chairperson, welcomed the delegates and Prof Ashutosh Kumar presented the theme note of the seminar. Others who spoke at the inaugural function included Prof Bhupinder Brar, dean research, and Prof Sanjay Chaturvedi.

Editorial board member

Dr Rajeev K Puri, associate professor of nuclear physics at Panjab University, has brought laurels to the university when he was inducted to the international board of editors of Georgian Electronic Science Journal: Physics, a peer reviewed journal of physics research.

Dr Puri is the only Indian to be placed on the board. The journal publishes research papers from all branches of physics such as nuclear, solid, nano sciences, particle physics, etc.



Four-member committee formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Panjab University Vice-Chancellor has constituted a four-member committee to look into the alleged molestation by a final year student of UILS Nitin Jindal, while participating in a UN sponsored International Conference at the Harvard University, USA.

The committee would submit its report on February 26.

The committee, which consists of IS Chadha, VK Sibal, Chaman Lal Sharma and law officer, PU, would look into the lapses in regard to the sending of the deputation of Panjab University students and also to develop certain guidelines.

PU authorities informed that in case there is any violation of rules, the committee would point out the involvement of officials or the students and recommend necessary action.



From Schools
Farewell party at AKSIPS-65
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 22
A farewell party was organised by Class IX students for their seniors at AKSIPS-65.

The event started with a welcome note, followed by title round bringing out the distinguishing characteristics, using popular songs and impressive quotations. To break the monotony of the title round, comedy skit “Don’t worry be happy” was presented by Class IX students, which left the audience in splits.

Cultural programme

Kilkari- had a grand finale with children of pre-nursery and nursery performing on stage recently at Manav Mangal Smart School, Mohali. The event began with an extract of Ramayana enacted on stage by the teachers.

Children danced gracefully and it was fun watching them. A message to keep the environment clean and green was also given by the children through “Out in the garden”.

A Rajasthani dance was applauded and appreciated by all for its choreography and the performance level of such small children. They looked amazing in their Rajasthani attire. Bhangra was also praised by the audience.

Hawan organised

Panchkula: A hawan was organised for students of classes X and XII at DC Model Senior Secondary School here recently.

The morning saw the presence of all the outgoing students, staff members and members of management.

The students were given a brunch after the hawan. Earlier, school principal BB Gupta blessed the students and made them aware about their duties as not only good citizens, but peacemakers of the new world.


Students of Manav Mangal School participated in International Informatics Olympiad organised by the Computer Literacy Foundation, New Delhi.

Six children, including Anmol Rana, Suvan Kaul, Kartik, Gaurav Bansal, Vibha and Kanu have been selected for next level.



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